The internet has had massive implications on the variety of ways we can interact with the gaming world. Every day people are now able to make a living off playing video games and sharing their content with their subscribers through platforms such as YouTube and Twitch. This means that they can ‘work’ from the comforts of their own home and upload their gameplay online so that their subscribers can watch their experience of playing the game.

This has given people the opportunity to broadcast their initial thoughts and reaction to the latest games which are released which they can share with their followers. Having the ability to do this has meant that people can now observe the narrative of their favourite games from someone else’s perspective, meaning that they don’t have to go out and buy it themselves. It also enables people to observe the way others tackle the challenging obstacles which have halted their progress on the game.

Streamers are also able to attract viewers who are unable to enjoy playing the game themselves as they may not be old enough to purchase the physical copy or they just can’t afford to buy it so they can witness it from someone else’s perspective. Another factor that has influenced this explosion of interest is the variety of videos which are available to watch on social networking platforms, by the day more people are choosing to sit at their desk and record themselves playing games either individually or with their friends for the entertainment of others, from my perspective this is what every young gamer has ever dreamt of as these people are able to make a living out of playing video games, something that must have seemed unimaginable twenty years ago.

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Streaming video game playthroughs have also grown massively in popularity in the last decade as they have revolutionised the level of engagement streamers have with their audience. When they go live, their audience is instantly notified when they are subscribed to their channel and they are also able to utilise social networking sites to promote their stream so they can get as many viewers as possible. The viewers themselves can benefit from watching the stream as they can learn to adapt their own playing styles from gaining an insight into another gamers perspective to identify how they could approach it differently.

Most people, however, tend to watch others game for the comedic value that they possess. Some games, such as those which contain violent graphics which are curated to trigger a reaction from the player. The most popular videos on the internet all have something in common, they all tend to include a strong outpouring of emotion, whether that is someone demonstrating that they are very angry by breaking something or getting so frightened by a jump-scare that they end up falling out of their chair.

Some people also opt to provide helpful content for their subscribers by providing them with a step-by-step tutorial on how to overcome the more challenging aspects of the storyline. This means that they can appeal to an audience who are made up of hardcore gamers who are passionate about completing every last mission on the game so that they can earn trophies and achievements on their console by getting 100% completion on the game.

Esports

The emergence of the internet has had a drastic effect on the viewership of traditional sports leagues which are broadcasted every year on television, such as the Olympic games and the World Cup. It can be argued that the growing popularity in esports has also had an influence on these viewings as people have access to an alternative type of competitive performance that they can access for free. With new sports being continuously added to the Olympics every year, along with the fact that esports has amassed an unprecedented interest in the last few years, could it be argued that gamers should be given a chance to represent their country at a high-performance standard.

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It has been found that the international Olympic Commitee have noted the rapid growth that has been demonstrated from within competitive gaming and have released a statement saying that, “competitive esports could be considered as a sporting activity, and the players involved prepare and train with an intensity which may be comparable to athletes in traditional sports.” This could well mean that we may start to see competitive gaming sooner rather than later due to the undoubted interest that has been expressed by thousands of fans who take to these streaming services to go and support their favourite streamers whenever an event is organised.

Streaming services such as Twitch and Mixer have become increasingly more popular over the last five years especially within the realms of competitive gaming. Going live and sharing the action as it unfolds is an exciting prospect as people can watch their favourite streamers team up and battle it out against each other to see who will end up being victorious.